So I had more than my usual head scratching phase with this latest painting: A customer reached out and inquired about a private commission she wanted me to paint of a beautiful "Sea Trout" her partner had caught in a fjord on the Northern coast of Norway. She sent me the photos of the fish and I was convinced it was an Atlantic Salmon. I politely mentioned that I thought it was a salmon, but I could sign it however she wished. She said she wanted it signed as a "Sea Trout." Of course I've seen lots of photos of Sea Run Brown Trout. Fly fishing Tierra Del Fuego for colossal Sea Run Browns has been a dream of mine forever. But these fish are all easily recognizable as Brown Trout and none look purple.
So I blew up the reference photos to two feet wide, printed them and studied them with my magnifying glasses. The fish had round spots on her face that made her look like a salmon, but the abundant, lighter, fleck-like spots on the body looked like a trout. To boot, the fish had this subtle, bluish-purple shine. In doing some research. It turns out that in Norway there are sizeable populations of Brown Trout that live in the Norwegian Sea and their coloration is unique to those waters. I sent the photos to a fisheries biologist at the Institute of Marine Research in Norway, Dr. Tore Johannssen. He agreed with my client. It was a Sea Trout!